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Read The Princess Of Celle (1986)

The Princess of Celle (1986)

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3.8 of 5 Votes: 5
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0449210049 (ISBN13: 9780449210048)

The Princess Of Celle (1986) - Plot & Excerpts

This book is a sadly fascinating look at the topic of woman's inhumanity to woman, feudal German style. I picked it up because it is the beginning of the Georgian saga, and thus the beginning of Queen Caroline's story (Caroline being one of my favorite characters in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle), but I feel like I was looking at the great women of Baroque era Germany through a funhouse mirror, and I suspect the author chiefly. Sophia of the Palatinate is portrayed as a vain, silly and rather petty woman who never got over being passed over by one brother and fobbed off on another and then spent the rest of her life resenting and scheming against the pretty French woman the original brother married instead, even unto mistreating the French woman's daughter by that brother. And all of the other women in the story are pretty horrible, too: Clara Platen needs a mustache to twirl except that would give her yet another reason to feel threatened by the pretty pretty princess; the princess herself is another spoiled Plaidy heroine who is too sweet and innocent even to understand the malice around her... Fortunately the men fare no better, our I'd have to wonder from this book if Plaidy/Hibbert wasn't a big time self-hating misogynist. It's hard to tell, with historical fiction, the bottom argument of which is always that it sure do suck to have a uterus, but wow this book. Wow. I still like Plaidy and now I've got my hands on them I'm going to read the other books in the series pretty soon, but if this had been my first Plaidy novel, it might have been my last. Um.

This is a good book with a very likeable, strong villainess and tragic hero. It was off to a slow start, though. In the beginning, it read somewhat like a simple children's fable, but then got more interesting. This is a tragic story. George William refuses to be King of Bohemia, passing his birth right to his brother. He falls in love with a woman. They welcome Sophia Dorothea soon after, not yet the Princess of Celle. In time, after drawn negotiations with his brother Ernest and the emperor Charles, she is legitimized after her parents are wed. Ernest rules in the rival court of Hanover. Sophia Dorothea is thrust into an unwanted marriage with Ernest's crude, licentious, cruel son, George Lewis. He will be George First of England. Sophia Dorothea is neglected by her new family. She finds love with Count Konigsmarck. What lays ahead is rapture and tragedy beyond their wildest dreams.

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